Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
In this chapter McCullers reveals the horrifying brutality of racism in the South during the early years of this century when African Americans could be treated as people with no rights, as non- people. The sweet-tempered Willie is tortured severely for nothing more than his skin color. Hung up by his feet in a freezing room until his feet freeze and then left there for days, Willie is like many African Americans who suffered grave injustices at the hands of white prison guards during these years. Once in a work camp, they became something like slaves again, with no rights and no recourse when they were injured so severely. To make sure the reader sees the reality of this racism, McCullers also shows what happens to Doctor Copeland when he tries to find a single European- American man in his town who is both just and brave. It doesn’t matter if the person is old or young, educated or ignorant, they are all treated alike, brutally and unjustly.